Workshop on Economics of Catch Shares

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During March 9-12, PIFSC hosted a national workshop on the economics of catch shares in response to NOAA's recent policy to encourage use of catch shares as a fishery management tool to end overfishing and rebuild fisheries and fishing communities. Currently, no catch share programs have been established in the Pacific Islands Region. The objective of the workshop was to explore potential roles, goals, limitations, and design characteristics of catch-share-based management programs such as individual fishing quotas (IFQs), individual tradable quotas (ITQs), and varieties thereof in the context of Pacific Island Region fisheries.

The workshop was held at the Hawaii Imin International Conference Center on the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus and featured 20 invited speakers, including leading economists and social scientists from the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. There were 30 participants, including the invited speakers, economists and social scientists from PIFSC, local fisheries managers, and experts from associated agencies including the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office, and the University of Hawaii.

The first two days of the workshop consisted of presentations describing the lessons learned from current catch-share programs. The next two days involved discussions among participants to elaborate on the presentations and explore management options for the region. The discussions allowed participants from the Pacific Islands to express their concerns and requirements for catch share programs in a setting where the invited guests could suggest possible alternatives to meet those needs. Subsequent to the workshop, PIFSC Economist Minling Pan continued to work with Dr. Keith Criddle from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to prepare a workshop report including summaries of the presentations and the discussions.